One of the most contentious local races in recent memory is over. The city of McMinnville elected Steve Harvey, Keri Curtis Morton and Deitra Dunlap Tuesday to serve as aldermen the next four years.
In the lead up to election day, things got heated. Billboards were used to sway voters and social media spats occurred almost daily. Even the pages of the Southern Standard were used by candidates who wished to pay to have their say.
Now that the dust is settled and the seven seats of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen are full once again, the Standard wanted to ask just one question to all members: It was a heated race, but now that the election is decided, how do we move forward amicably and work toward a better McMinnville?
Here are their answers:
"I think that it’s evident the citizens weren’t interested in the mudslinging and misinformation floating around. (Teamwork) has to be part of it. We may not agree on everything, but we’re on the same team and need to do the best for the citizens of McMinnville, the people who work for the city and also try to help out Warren County when we can.
"Big picture politics at the state and national level don’t have bearing here at the local level. We’re overseeing police and fire, parks and rec, water and roads, things like that. I have the utmost faith in new board members Keri Morton and Deitra Dunlap that they’ll contribute to the city and we’ll move in the direction we need to go."
"First of all, this wasn't a heated race; it was destructive, slanderous and full of lies and innuendos aimed at Everett Brock, Steve Harvey and me. Second, there has been no problem getting along on the board with the exception of Alderman Stacey Harvey. Third, most of us have been working all along for a better McMinnville before this election, and I will continue to do so."
"For me, it’s how we perceive the decisions we undertake for the city. We have to fully see and understand the impact of these issues from the other side of the boardroom desk. If we can all agree to think about everything we do in that manner, then we will be golden.
"We cannot be driven into decisions from simple microcosms of the city. We must regard the least of us in every decision and the impact of each decision upon all of those involved, instead of just a few."
"We just do. We’ve all sworn an oath to do the best we can to move our city in the right direction. Even though the differences can even get personal at times, we still have a duty to work with those that we differ with. I have and will continue to do that."
Keri Curtis Morton
"As I’ve gone to meetings, a lot people will come, but they really don’t approach the board and talk to them. I really want it to be a more friendly board. We’re all on the same team. We live in the city of McMinnville – We should be loud and proud because this is where we’re from. I just want teamwork. I’ve always been a part of a team, I’m not a loner out by myself."
"Each one of us was elected with the expectation that we will work together in the best interest of the entirety of the city. My hope is that we will collaborate in the boardroom - face to face – (while) respecting each viewpoint, embracing the diversity within the board and capitalizing on each other's strengths."
Rachel Lee Kirby
"(We move forward) With the honesty and integrity that everyone in a position of trust should use. A better McMinnville is the goal."